Demand for UK-made goods improved in November compared to October, but manufacturers expect prices to rise faster in the next three months and predict slower growth in manufacturing output.
Revealing the results from its latest Industrial Trends Survey, the CBI said that total and export order books improved relative to October, although they were still considered to be ‘below normal’.
Responding to the latest survey, 21 per cent of manufacturers said that total orders were above normal and 36 per cent said they were below. The resulting balance of -15 per cent compares favourably to last month’s figure of -28 per cent and is slightly better than the survey’s long-run average of -18 per cent. The figure marks a return to the level of demand seen during the summer months.
Firms also reported that export order books were better than in October, even though they were still considered below normal. In November, 22 per cent of companies said they were above normal and 29 per cent below normal. The resulting balance of -7 per cent is up on -21 per cent in October and above the long-run average of -22 per cent.
Manufacturers expect modest growth in output in the next three months. In November’s survey, 26 per cent predict output will rise, compared with 22 per cent expecting it will fall. The resulting balance of +4 is down on previous months and is the weakest figure since January. This figure is, however, broadly in line with the long-run average of +5 per cent.
Partly reflecting recent rises in oil and other commodity prices, inflationary pressures have intensified for UK manufacturers in the November survey. A balance of +17 per cent of firms expect to raise prices in the next three months, following +6 per cent in the previous survey.